My hands are up in the air. I don’t get it. Am I missing something? Or am I part of the “change” that Valley Stream is experiencing? My upbringing on the edge suburbia in Toledo, OH has me a little miffed about the perceptions of where I live now. Let me take you back a little bit.
I’m not a native Valley Streamer. I was born in Fremont, OH and raised in Toledo, OH until I moved to the suburbs of Detroit, MI in the early ’90s. There, I graduated with B.A. in Public Relations from Wayne State University. From there, I met my husband who moved me to Brooklyn, NY seven days after we married. We lived in Park Slope and then Fort Greene for a few years before moving to Valley Stream almost five years ago.
Newsday has been speaking with various community members about what it’s like to live here and asking us all what Valley Stream has to offer. My piece hasn’t come out yet, but will soon. In spite of the negative blog posts/comments we read on a few websites, we chose Valley Stream over Hackensack, NJ where my mother-in-law lived at the time. At the beginning of our search for a home, we began in VS, went to NJ, and ended our search back in VS where we started. We decided to come to Valley Stream because it was closer to our church home, we had many friends in the area, and it was a short train ride into the city where my husband worked at the time. Oh, and I loved the house we chose based on the online photos. I loved it even more in person.
Some continue to say that Valley Stream has “changed” and I take that to mean that it is becoming more diverse. Growing up in Toledo, I don’t remember much diversity in my neighborhood other than Caucasian and African Americans. When I moved to Brooklyn my world opened up a little more and I was very happy that my daughter was now surrounded by so many different children from various backgrounds who spoke various languages. As I walk thought my daughter’s school, I see an extremely diverse group of children and I love that. The world we live in is diverse and I want to live in a community that reflects our world.
As for the references to VS being unsafe, I have one thing to say. Every community has crime. Our neighboring villages all have crime. Read their newspapers. If you’re walking down any street at 3 a.m. or so in the morning, you are putting yourself in harms way. I truly believe I was followed closely by a white male after leaving Macy’s at Green Acres Mall one late evening about a year ago. Thank God a vehicle was coming down my lane as I saw the gentleman weave in and out of the parked cars scaring him away. I haven’t been to the mall alone late at night since. I took myself out of harm’s way.
My family is pretty active in the community. We have met so many people in Valley Stream, including many professionals. We have met doctors, lawyers, nurses, plumbers, accountants, teachers, musicians, librarians, dentists, office managers and insurance salesmen. People who are in these types of professions bring added value to a community.
Just like I told Newsday, what I like most about this community, in addition to its rich diversity, is the programming available to our children. The sports programs, summer camps, library programming, pool, parks, and all of the amazing programming our village government offers makes Valley Stream a highly desirable place to raise a family.
Aside from the mosquitoes which could be the result of my neighbor not maintaining their pool properly, I highly recommend living in Valley Stream. Now, I do want to say that the community needs work in many areas and there are many strongholds in a few areas, but I do see things changing. However slowly, things are changing for the better.
9 Reasons to Live in Valley Stream
1. We have very strong school districts
2. We are about 25 minutes from Manhattan
3. We are surrounded by wonderful beaches
4. We have our own LIRR stop that is a major stop
5. The Village is rich in cultural diversity
6. We have our very own pool heavily used by the community
7. JFK International Airport is 15 minutes away and LaGuardia is 20 minutes away
8. Valley Stream State Park is right in our own backyard.
9. We have ValleyStreamMom.com
What else do you need?
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